Investor's Corner

Elon Musk sells $8.5bn in Tesla shares following Twitter acquisition

[Credit: HBO]

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold $8.5 billion worth of his electric automotive company’s stock following his acquisition of social media platform Twitter this week.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal Musk sold around $3.3 billion worth of Tesla stock on Tuesday and another $654 million worth on Wednesday. Friday morning revealed more filings from Musk, as the agency revealed the CEO sold an additional 5.2 million shares for a total of around $4.5 billion. So Musk’s grand total now sits right around $8.5 billion after the Friday morning filings were released.

Interestingly, Musk said last evening that “No further TSLA sales planned after today,” in response to @WholeMarsBlog, a popular Tesla Twitter account. It is likely Musk’s sales are being used to fund his purchase of Twitter, which was announced on Monday.

Surprisingly, Musk’s sale filings that have been revealed over the past two days has not hindered Tesla’s stock performance on Wall Street. Despite being down around 12 percent on the week as the markets closed on Thursday, shares are up over 3.4 percent at the time of writing, trading at around $907.50 at 11:16 AM in New York.

“It’s an overhang that will slowly be removed with Musk saying stock sales done,” Dan Ives of Wedbush told Teslarati. “This has been a big Street worry since $TWTR deal got announced.”

Musk will likely use these sales to fund the Twitter purchase, but he will likely use other shares as collateral for loans to raise cash for the deal. The deal is different than others, however, due to Musk’s massive net worth. Musk has so much money he can essentially act as a private equity firm, according to a Bloomberg report. Roughly 72 percent of the financing package to fund the deal will come from the Tesla CEO or in the form of cash he will borrow by pledging Tesla shares. The only way to avoid this is by finding an actual private equity firm or a group of other investors who would join as partners.

Musk sold all his holdings for an average price of $883.09 per share.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA shareholder, but does not own stock in TWTR and has no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

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Updated 11:34 AM ET: Fifth paragraph added with analyst comments.

Elon Musk sells $8.5bn in Tesla shares following Twitter acquisition
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